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> "THE GERMAN “LUFTWAFFE” UNITS IN ROMANIA ..."
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Posted: January 12, 2006 09:43 am
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THE GERMAN “LUFTWAFFE” UNITS IN ROMANIA AND THEIR FIELDPOST NUMBERS (1940-1944)

Article published in 'Romanian Postal History Bulletin' No. 27 / December 1998.

I. Historical data regarding the presence of the German Forces in Romania:

On September 17, 1940, Antonescu asks for a German Military Mission to train Romanian troops. On October 7, 1940 the first German troops enter Romania (the Military Mission would have 22,430 men of which 17,561 were from the German Army). On October 12, 1940, the leaders of the Military Mission arrived in Romania under the command of Erik Hansen, while the Aerian Mission (=Deutsche Luftwaffenmission in Rumänien) was commanded by General Withelm Speidel. By mid-November the 13th Motorized Infantry Division reinforced by the 4th Panzer Regiment, engineers, signal troops, six fighter and two reconnaissance squadrons, and some antiaircraft units had all arrived in Romania.

November 23, 1940 - Romania joins the Tripartite Pact. On that occasion, Hitler informed Antonescu of his plans against Greece. Romania would not be required to lend active assistance in the attack on Greece, but was to permit the assembly of German forces in its territory.

January 10, 1941 - Fieldmarshall Wilhelm List, Commander of 12.Army, arrives in Romania. He was in charge for “Maritza Operation” (the invasion of Greece). Late in December already, the first attack echelon of Twelfth Army had already began to leave for Romania. By the end of January the Twelfth Army and First Panzer Group Headquarters, three corps headquarters and two panzer, and two infantry divisions had arrived in Romania in full strength. The XLI Panzer Corps, which was assembling in Western Romania near Timisoara, was to undertake a separate drive from there to Belgrade. Between November 1940 and February 1941, a force of over 400 planes had gradually been built up in Romania and Bulgaria. By March 27, when the Yugoslav revolt occurred, there were 135 fighter and reconnaissance planes in Romania. Early in April additional fighter and reconnaissance craft were sent to fields near Arad, Deva, and Turnu-Severin.

The Luftwaffe opened the assault on Yugoslavia with a bombing raid on the capital, Belgrade in the early morning hours of 6 April; flying from airfields in Austria and Romania, 150 bombers and dive-bombers participated in the attack.

May 23,1941Antonescu was informed about the arrival of the 11th German Army Commander, gl-col. Eugen von Schobert. Soon the entire 11th Army is deployed in Moldavia, which, together with other German troops under the command of the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies, began the attack on the USSR on June 22, 1941 (Barbarossa Operation).

The third occasion when operational German troops were massively deployed in Romania was between May-August 1944, when the entire German 8th Army participated to an ultimate attempt to stop the Soviet offensive in Bessarabia and Moldavia.

On August 31, 1944 a week after the ‘coup d’etat’ of August 23 all German troops in Romania are annihilated. However, they continue to oppose the Romanian and Soviet Armies in Eastern and Northern Transylvania, until October 24, 1944.

II. The Luftwaffe Units in Romania and their Fieldpost numbers.

This article deals only with the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) which was, along with the Ground (Heer) and Maritime (Marine) Forces part of the German military presence in Romania between 1940-1944.

Three tables are presented:

The first table shows the Luftwaffe Units operating in Romania, together with the period when on Romanian soil and the exact location of the unit. This was compiled mainly from the extraordinary WWW site “The Luftwaffe Homepage,” maintained by Michael Holm on the address http://home4.inet.tele.dk/mholm. Additions were made using the book “La chasse de nuit Germano-Roumaine, 1943-1944” [The German-Romanian Night Fighting] written by Jean-Louis Roba and Cristian Crăciunoiu, Modelism Editions, Bucharest 1997.
The second table provides the Fieldpost numbers of the Luftwaffe units from Romania, together with their assignment and period when in Romania. This list was compiled from the series of articles “Feldpostnummern der Luftwaffe 1939 bis 1945,” published in the German Philatelic Magazine “Deutsche Zeitung fűr Briefmarkenkunde.” (nos: 17/1970 pages 3163-64; 18/1970 pages 3349-50; 19/1970 pages 3536-38; 20/1970 pages 3751-53; 4/1971 pages 680-81; 5/1971 pages XXX-XXXII; 16/1971 pages XVII-XVIII; 17/1971 page 3069; 18/1971 page XXX; 17/1973 page 2774; 22/1973 page 3587). Unfortunately these deal only with the Flying Units of the Luftwaffe, so the Ground Units (i.e. Parachute Units, Flak Units, etc) are not in the Table 2. The definitive works in this field are the essential set of books of Norbert Kannapin (“Die deutsche Feldpostűbersicht” [=The German Fieldpost Overview], published in 3 volumes between 1980-82) and Dr. Georg Tessin (“Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS” [=Units and Troops of the German Army and Waffen-SS], published by the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv between 1955-1964 in 19 volumes). Unfortunately, these books, due to cost, are not available to the author (the Kannapin is about 350.- DM and Tessin 1500-1900.- DM, if not more…). Consequently, I would be pleased if one of the lucky owners of these books could make corrections & additions to this article.
The third table provides translations and abbreviations
For a better understanding of the Tables, one must note that an Air Wing (=Geschwader) had a Headquarter (=Stab) and was formed from 3-4 Groups (=Gruppen, noted with Roman numerals I,II,III,IV) each with 3 Squadrons (=Staffeln, generally: 1-3 for Group I, 4-6 for Group II, 7-9 for Group III, etc). A Staffel can be split for tactical operations into more sections of four aircraft (=Schwarm). The other terms and abbreviations can be found translated in table 3. A mention as it is for example I/JG 77 have to be read “Ist Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 77” and 1/JG 77 means “1st Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 77”.

TABLE. 1 – The Luftwaffe Units in Romania.

Aufklärungsfűhrer Schwarzes Meer.

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